President pushes for swifter rehabilitation in Rakhine State


New homes for the victims of last year’s communal violence in Rakhine state must be completed within three months, President Thein Sein said at a meeting of the Rakhine State Peace and Stability Implementation Central Committee in Nay Pyi Taw yesterday.

President Thein Sein said a team of ministerial official under the leadership of the Ministry of Border Affairs ministry would be formed in Sittwe, Rakhine State’s capital, to expedite the rehabilitation work. The team will ensure new houses are completed within three months and steps to regenerate local businesses are implemented, he added.

“It is essential to work for peace and development of Rakhine state. So, the respective committees are to carry out their tasks speedily and to continue assisting in education, health and social affairs for the victims,” the president said.

As the majority of the people in Rakhine State are engaged in farming and fishing, the regional and central governments need to cooperate in providing them with farming and fishing equipment so that they can begin working in the upcoming rainy season, Thein Sein added.

The Rakhine conflict must be resolved to prevent it from worsening, said Thein Sein, adding that all citizens need to resolve internal affairs peacefully. The deployment of security forces in the state will be reduced when peace and stability improves, he added.

Since the communal violence erupted last June, 5,000 police, 1,000 border security troops and 51 military regiments have been deployed to the state.

Legal action has also been taken against 2,058 people for alleged involvement in the riots, the government has said.

Two waves of violence broke out between ethnic Rakhine and Bengali residents of the state, in June and October last year, killing 167 people, injuring 223 more, and destroying 10,100 houses, according to official figures.

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